Wow. I haven’t said that in a long time, probably almost 20 odd years. Times sure have changed since the last time I wrote in a diary. I can still remember what my diary looked like. It was white with a some super girly painted scene on the front. I want to say a rainbow and a waterfall? Maybe some pink flowers? Either way, I remember the gold foil pages and the lock on the front. The key was hidden in my pillow. Times sure have changed. To think I used to hide my entries from three nosey brother and now, here I am about to expose myself to one of the most taboo topics out there. This diary entry is public, VERY PUBLIC. No lock, no key. Times sure have changed, and so have I.
This week, Mark and I will be walking into Dr. Check’s office for our first infertility consultation appointment. He is one of the best, most referred and most sought after doctors in the South Jersey area. Luckily, there was a cancelation right before I called and I was able to get in under a month! We were warned that Dr. Check is so thorough that his appointments always run late and to expect to be at the office for “a few hours!” Now, do we make a list of questions we want to ask or should we go into this appointment with an open mind and hear what the doc has to say?
I sure have a lot of questions going through my mind.
Never in a million years, did I think I would be one of the 33% of women who struggle with infertility. There is nothing that can prepare you for the questions that go through your mind when struggling to get pregnant. Every second of the day, you think about it. Each time you see a pregnant woman in the grocery store, you wonder… did they struggle? When you get your period, you sign… what is wrong with me? You try every vitamin, diet, sexual position… will these work?? Every time someone says, you just need to relax… YOU SCREAM!
I already know what has to be done. For those who may not know, in December, I was scheduled to have laparoscopic surgery to remove a cyst on my left ovary. The surgery did not go as planned and I had open surgery to remove stage four endometriosis and a nine centimeter cyst that had completely engulfed my left ovary and attached itself to my bladder, colon and pelvic wall. My doctor was not able to detach the cyst from my ovary and had to remove my entire left ovary and tube. Before doing so, she tested my right side, which in her words “looked” perfectly healthy. They do a dye test called a hysterosalpingogram or HSG for short. I’ll spare you the intimate details, but if you are curious you can read about the test here. Well, in normal Heather fashion, my perfect healthy looking tube failed the test. In other words, it is blocked. My doctor was shocked but was optimistic that all the stress on my left side may have caused some damage to my tube. They didn’t want to do anything drastic until I get retested a few months after surgery. I know this is going to be the first thing we discuss at our appointment.
Our next steps are going to be based on the results of my HSG test. If I pass this test, then we are on a green light to “hopefully” get pregnant on our own. However, there is still no guarantee that I will get pregnant naturally. This stresses me out. I waited 18 months to finally have my cyst removed. Eighteen long, painful months of not getting pregnant. While I would love to be able to conceive naturally, how long will this take?? What happens after another year of not getting pregnant passes?? Will I just be back in the same position as I am in now?? Headed back into Dr Check’s office a year later, still without a baby?? I love that Mark and I enjoyed our late twenties traveling, but I cannot go another year without any answers.
So, do I secretly want to fail this test?? Is it selfish of me to not want to pass this test, so I can get some answers now?? So many questions…. so little answers!
If I fail this test, our ONLY option for me carrying a baby is IVF, in vitro fertilization. The doctors are going to want to remove my right tube if I fail this test again. There are some sort of juices in the tube that can damage my chances of IVF. I don’t know all the details in this one, but I asked what would happen if I choose to not get my tube removed. Long story short, keeping my tube could hurt the embryos. So ANOTHER surgery?? How much can I physically go through before even starting IVF treatments?? I just recovered from major surgery. I still can’t feel anything when I touch the skin under my belly button. (btw the weirdest feeling EVER!) Women always talk about the mental stress infertility, but what about the physical stress? Hopefully, this surgery will actually be laparoscopic and I will only have a two week recovery. However, I’m going into my busy season. Do I have three weeks available to take off?? Am I being selfish for not wanting another surgery??
Becoming a parent means putting someone else’s life ahead of yours. So, if I WANT to become a parent, do I start putting my needs ahead of a baby that doesn’t actually exist yet? Am I still being selfish? Is it wrong to avoid putting myself through all the physical and mental torment that comes with infertility??
Now, what about all the orphans and unwanted babies out there?? Am I being selfish for wanting my own baby, with our DNA, with my husband’s nose, with my curly hair and freckles?? According to Administration of Children & Families, over 400,000 children were in foster care at the end of 2015. There are that many children out there that would love a forever home and here I am going to great lengths to “make” my own baby?? How do I justify to myself that it is ok to start IVF treatments, when right now there is a baby being born to a mother who cannot even afford to feed it?? If these IVF treatments work, and I get to bring home a baby, will I still be thinking about that baby I could have saved?
How are we suppose to make this decision??
I still can’t believe we are here. One of my clients over the weekend mentioned it takes a lot of soul searching to go through this process. I am not much of a soul searcher and neither is my husband. There is always the God approach. “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13) For those not familiar with the Bible, this is a fancy way of saying God will not give you anything you cannot handle. I want to believe this, but why us?? Why me?? What is our purpose?? There has to be some greater reason why we were chosen to be on this path. Do you know how much easier this decision would be if we knew what our purpose was?
So, here we are… about to walk into our first of probably endless doctor appointments. Our minds are spinning but our hearts are hopeful. Maybe after this appointment, we will be able to finally answer some of these questions.